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Lady T-Wolves hang on for the win

Prospect soccer girls earn fourth seed in tourney, host playoff game on Friday

SENIORS (l to r) Kelsey Hannafin, Allison LaRoche, Sarah Clifford and Brooke Bastarache were honored prior to their final regular season home game on Oct. 19. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 25, 2010
ALTON — The Prospect Mountain soccer girls wasted no time in taking a lead on Belmont in the regular season finale on Tuesday, Oct. 19, but then were forced to hang on for dear life as the Red Raiders did everything in their power to come away with a point.

However, the Lady Timber Wolves did hang on, as keeper Danielle Tidd allowed just one goal and Sahara Brown and Kelly Jones each put one to the back of the other net to give the Prospect girls a 2-1 win.

"They buckled down and did what they had to do and got the win," said coach Matt Locke. "I'm very happy about that."

The Timber Wolves needed less than four minutes to get on the board. With 3:35 gone in the first half, the Prospect girls were awarded a corner kick. Britney Therrien booted the ball in front of the net, where Brown got her head on the ball as she dived toward the goal line. The ball clanged off the post and bounced right back off of Brown and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Belmont came right back with a corner kick chance, but solid defense from Kelsey Hannafin and Ali LaRoche as well as good work from Tidd in the goal kept the visitors from tying the game.

Therrien, Sarah Clifford, Kelly Jones and Kirby Beranger combined on a good passing play to get Prospect's next solid chance, but the ball was deflected out. After LaRoche turned in a solid defensive play, Therrien made a great bid at the other end, but her shot wet wide.

Belmont continued to threaten, but Brown and Therrien helped clear the ball away from the net on a couple of occasions and Tidd turned in a couple of saves as well to keep the visitors off the board.

Therrien just missed connections with Clifford on a scoring bid and Clifford just missed hooking up with Beranger moments later on a great chance. In between, the Red Raiders had a couple of bids that were cleared out of the zone by the Timber Wolf defense.

Beranger had a great cross in front of the Belmont net that was cleared out and Clifford had a couple of bids denied by the Belmont keeper. Beranger also made a nice feed to Therrien, but the shot went wide. Tidd and the Timber Wolf defense held strong as well, turning away a couple of Belmont chances.

The Timber Wolves finally got back on the board with 2:50 to play in the half, as Beranger sent a nice cross to Jones, who tapped the ball in and upped the lead to 2-0, where it stayed until the half.

Prospect attacked the net early in the second half, with Beranger taking a number of quick shots and Therrien just missing connections with Clifford and Jones.

However, Belmont began pressuring a little bit more, forcing Tidd to make a number of quick saves. Nicole Dwyer also chipped in with a solid defensive effort as the Timber Wolves fought to withstand the Belmont attack.

Jones and Therrien had the best chances for the Timber Wolves, but the Red Raiders were quickly beginning to control the pace of the game, with numerous chances in the offensive zone. A number of shots sailed wide of the net and Tidd made the stop on a couple of others, but with four minutes to play in the game, the Red Raiders finally broke through, putting home a shot on a perfect crossing pass to cut the lead to 2-1.

Dwyer and Therrien helped Tidd close the door in the final few minutes and the Timber Wolves walked off with a hard-fought 2-1 win.

Tidd, Brown and Beranger had all endured a nine-hour car ride from Pennsylvania, where they were on a school trip and arrived back in Alton just an hour and a half before the game, making the effort on the field a bit more impressive.

"The early goal helps, but we definitely got outpassed," Locke said.

The Timber Wolves were coming off a 3-0 win over Inter-Lakes a day earlier, a win they picked up without the three aforementioned players on the school trip.

"They've improved, but we played very well," Locke said. "We passed the ball nice and we were patient."

Clifford netted two goals in the win and Abby Drouin scored the other. Therrien had two assists and Sarah Stone stepped in to goal and made eight saves to earn her second shutout of the season.

"She did a nice job," Locke said of his backup keeper, noting she made a couple of point blank saves to preserve the shutout.

The Prospect girls, by virtue of their fourth seed in the Division III tournament, get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The bye (and the new play-in game in Division III for the lower seeded teams) left the Timber Wolves with a 10-day break between games.

The girls will host either fifth-seeded Somersworth or 13th-seeded Kingswood in the Division III quarterfinals on Friday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. The semifinals take place at Merrimack Valley High School on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m.

Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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